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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: There is discontent among senior leaders in ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as they are not able to meet Chief Minitser and party Supremo Naveen Patnaik, said Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi hours after he was expelled from the party for ‘anti-people activities’ on Sunday.

The resentment among the leaders is mainly due to the fact that several important matters within the party are not reaching Naveen Patnaik, Panigrahi told reporters.

Panigrahi came down heavily on the State of affairs in Odisha and said, "The administration is not being run by the Chief Secretary, but only one person is calling the shots here,” said Panigrahi while making a veiled attack on VK Pandian, Chief Minister’s private secretary.

As the Chief Minister is not aware of many things, I had written letters to him on several issues- migration, COVID-19 management and the experience gained from visit to Surat and Chennai, he said.

“The State government was initially not in favour to bring back the migrant workers following the outbreak of COVID-19. It seems that I am now paying up the price for writing to the Chief Minister,” said Panigrahi.

Refuting the allegations of engineering defeat of party candidates and other anti-people activities, Panigrahi said, “The party had given me the charge of the district and we won in 12 out of 15 seats during the last Assembly elections. Funds were disbursed to candidates through me and they should give evidence if there have been any irregularities. I have not taken a single penny from sand mafia or liquor shop owners in the district.”

Lashing out against the BJD, Panigrahi’s wife dared the party to spell out what exactly were the “anti-people activities” charges that have been levelled against her husband.


(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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